TRI-CITIES, WA- As COVID-19 cases rise across Washington state in another wave of the coronavirus. Hospitals around the area are also seeing the increase and nurses on the frontlines are now asking for the community's help in stopping the spread.
Ryan Rosenkranz, BSN, RN, a local ICU nurse, and nurse organizer for the Washington State Nurse's Association has been helping fight COVID-19 for nine months.
"We are seeing it over, over again and it's frustrating because we've seen our numbers go down and now they are back on the rise," Rosenkranz said. "We are tired. Nurses are tired. We are running out of steam, we've been doing this for 9 months we're as exhausted and frustrated as the rest of the community."
Rosenkranz and her coworkers are facing another wave of the virus and for many of them, they are feeling the burnout.
"We are working as hard as we can we're trying to get everybody taken care of but we really need help," Rosenkranz said.
She said behind the masks they are dealing with a lot more than just the virus. Rosenkranz said many of them are dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from seeing the worst parts of the virus.
"I unfortunately am seeing nurses leaving their profession because of this. We're leaving. Some people would rather go work serving coffee then doing what we went to school for or doing what we love. We love nursing but right now, it's rough," Rosenkranz said.
With the increasing number of COVID patients she said it is hard to find the space for everyone.
As of Tuesday, Benton-Franklin Health District reported 187 new cases in both counties and 41 people are hospitalized for COVID-19.
"There's COVID patients filling up the rest of the hospital and then you have the people that need gallbladder surgery or their appendix bursts, there's still people having heart attacks and getting in car accidents and when we are backed up with COVID patients in the hospitals we are running out of room," Rosenkranz said.
Now the nurses are asking for the community's help in being the first line fo defense for the virus.
"We have kind of slacked off and we need to get back on it. We need to mask, we need to socially distance, and we need to do good hand hygiene and that's what I think every nurse would tell you. Please help us," Rosenkranz said.
From washing your hands to wearing a mask properly, she says every little thing the community can do, can help.
"It's not something that is going to go away overnight and it's something we need to actively continue to do. COVID doesn't discriminate based on anything, it's real. It's not made up. People die from it, I have seen it. We continue to see it," Rosenkranz said. "We want to make sure our community, our coworkers, and our families are safe and healthy and we have to work together to do that."